Faculty members create Canvas site for campus safety

Monday, November 21, 2016 - 4:08pm

A group of University of Michigan faculty members have developed a monitored Canvas site called Teamworks, which will allow students who do not feel safe on campus to connect with one another to walk home and around campus.

Teamworks will be open to students by permission only and interested individuals must email Anne Berg, assistant director of undergraduate studies and the primary faculty member on the project, to gain access.

The site comes in response to a number of incidents that have happened on campus following the election of Donald Trump two weeks ago. Just days after the election, a female student was told to remove her hijab or she would be lit on fire, and another female student was pushed down a hill and yelled at for being in America. In addition, a male student woke up to a swastika painted on his apartment door last weekend, and a woman’s face was cut by an unknown man last Tuesday while walking on Liberty Street.

Other groups on campus have initiated similar programs in the past, including SafeRide, a free service that transports students, faculty and staff within a one-mile radius of campus. Additionally, five Ross School of Business students developed the now-internationally recognized Companion app last year. S.A.F.E. WALK, a campus accompaniment service coordinated by the Department of Public Safety and Security, also provides walking partners free of charge to all University members.

In the aftermath of the four incidents, organizations have also been holding self-defense programs more frequently. Beyond the Diag, a program provided to students living off-campus, held a self-defense workshop just after the election. The University International Center will hold a self-defense session Saturday at the Trotter Multicultural Center.